All about the Creatures of the Big Blue:

  • How to possess them
  • How to control them
  • Artificial life & artificial intelegence
  • Creatures of today and tomorrow

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  • I am curious, will there be Man o' Wars? I'm pretty facsinated by those, and would be pretty excited to get to encounter them in this game.

  • Maybe, the interesting thing about the Man o war jellyfish is that it floats on the the surface.

    I do plan on have many different kinds of Jellyfish (Medusas) in the game. Something cool and haunting about them. Controlling a Medusa should be a unique experience.

  • Excellent. I'm looking forward to controlling things besides dolphins.

  • Will there be birds, such as seagulls or kingfishers?

    Will there be animals such as crabs, walruses or penguins?

  • That would be interesting if you're a smaller fish and have the risk of a pelican swooping down and eating you...

  • Segulls off in the distance at first.

    Birds of prey diving into the water sounds like a great idea, especially seen from below the surface.
  • I'd love the second controllable creature to be a turtle ^^ but of course you can't say anything about it yet 'cause i guess it should be a surprise.
  • Hi Ed. Do you think there is a possibility that perhaps The Big Blue could feature crocodilians, especially those of the saltwater descent?? I think their movement as well as controlling them could be very interesting. And since Big Blue is set to take place millions of years later, it would be cool to see if they have evolved ever so slightly more and perhaps become less land dependent. I had this idea that perhaps these crocs reside in shallower, warmer waters (and therefore don't have to come upon land to sun themselves) and act very much like scorpionfish/stonefish who lay in wait and ambush their prey underwater rather than the crocs of today. However, like the crocs of today, once the prey is caught they have to surface to eat it - hence living in shallower waters. But being able to hold their breaths for longer periods, they spend the majority of their lives underwater. Sure would make a mean enemy to run into too.

    Just an idea of course. All I can say is ever since I have heard about this project; I have been thrilled at the idea of what it might become. I will be sure to post ideas if you will be happy to hear them.
  • On another note, I really hope The Big Blue will feature manta rays. I think the surface interactions will work wonderfully with them too as they like to jump and ‘fly’ out of the water similar to dolphins. And of course they are just amazing creatures

  • I went on a scuba diving trip to Bonaire a few months back in January and was lucky enough to see a manta ray in person! They are very graceful and unique. I agree with Kyania, would love to see them in The Big Blue. I'm also hoping to see some cephalopods like giant octopus or cuttlefish.

  • I don't see why there wouldn't be manta rays! I'd like to control one of those for sure.

    I can imagine those being one of the funner creatures to swim around as.

  • Are the creatures going to follow the general pattern of the ocean? Angler fish towards the bottom, plankton at the top? And if so, would it also apply to creatures that you could control? As an example, you could only control dolphins to a certain depth, but then you could control "deep sea" creatures at the bottm.
  • Filarwen, I think that they will.   Ed mentioned the medusas will have the advantage of being able to go to very deep depths where other creatures cannot.

  • I read that beluga whales give off a bit of a glow in the dark when they are down far enough. It would be cool if there's a scenario where you're being hunted by something in the dark and the only thing you can see is the glow from the beluga.

    Maybe you could also have a fight between a sperm whale and a giant squid.

  • Check out this simulation of artifical fish.

    What is interesting here is that the fish start out dumb.  Just moving around waiting to bump into food (the dots)  But the fish have neural nets in their little heads and will evolve more intelligence through trial and error.  The simulation is SLOW and will take hours to evolve smarter fish but you can speed it up by pressing 'f'  Go back to the simulation by pressing 'f' again.

    What I want you to notice is how life like these fish become. I believe using artificial life as a basis to drive all the creatures in the game will make if feel VERY real and life like.

    Let me know what you think.

  • @Filarwen Yes, I think its a perfect gameplay mechanism that different creatures are restricted by their depth and if they breathe air or not.   These restrictions will allow us to design fun challenges and gameplay.

  • I'm interested in how far you'd want to take the AI. Would the AI actually learn things, and would the game world "evolve" because of that? I'm again reminded of NiGHTS into Dreams as I type this, since that game was really a fast-paced action game but your actions had a direct influence on the mood of the "Nightopians" in the dream world. Most people that played the game probably didn't even realize that. Would The Big Blue be something like that or would the AI become an integral part of the gameplay?

  • what would be interesting about this, would be if there is a huge dangerous creature, and you try to catch but miss and it tries to eat you but you always manage to escape in the same way, that, after 5 times, it knows that you will do said escape attempt and it will then know how to counter that.
  • That would be interesting if fish know how to learn from your antics to better kill you...

    but it also complicates things significantly, especially in a multiplayer setting. 

  • Alife, evolutionary AI will only be used for effect, and used lightly.  Its not practical to try to tune a game where the enemy behavior emerges rather than being scripted.   I want the creatures to feel lifelike but I'll be careful not to overwhelm the CPU with complicated AI algorythyms.  I think those html5 fish are good example of simple but cool.   

    Basic behaviors of enemies would include:

    • Swim away from you
    • Attack you if you are within range
    • protect a territory (only attack if you enter an area)
    • Protect another creature
    • If you cross it's path it attacks
    • Once it sees you it stalks you (at various lengths of persistance)  


  • The territory thing sounds awesome. Would it be like that it immediately senses your presence? Or rather that it senses a presence of something and a searching mode is triggered and if it finds you it attacks?

    But anyway, that's an awesome AI design, can't wait to see it in action ^^
  • I'm really curious about how diverse the creatures are for the different environments, and how some are restricted to certain areas. I see myself already wanting to swim with my favorite creature into my favorite environment, and it not being possible because of the game being scripted like that ;) And then I see people hacking and finding glitches to make it possible X)

  • Will there be variations between creatures of the same species, such as size, coloration (different shades of the same colors, albinism, melanism, and the like), and other differences?

    If your creatures end up dying, are they lost forever?

    Also, I'm curious about the Kickstarter-only creature cards. Will the creatures themselves be in the game for anyone to discover, or are they limited to just those with the cards?

  • Orca, I'd guess yes, considering the dolphin varieties that the creature cards had.

    Also, speaking of territories, this reminds me of 8-arms from Ecco.

    What's the word on Octopus in this game?

    Those things both scare the crap out of me, and amaze me.

    I'd like to play as one.

  • Maybe if you make an area in shallow waters, you could include platypus'. They fascinate me because they're so strange!

    I don't know if it's true or not, but a long time ago I read in a (children's) book that when the tide comes in in the Amazon, the water rises above the trees and you can see dolphins swimming through the forest. Maybe you could make a scenario where you have to race against the tide.

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